"At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak towers above all other summits in Rocky Mountain National Park. The flat-topped monarch is seen from almost anywhere in the park. Different angles show the great mountain's unique profiles. Changing weather reflects Longs Peak's manymoods. In the summertime, when conditions allow, thousands climb to Longs' summit via the Keyhole Route. The Keyhole Route is not a hike. It is a climb that crosses enormous sheer vertical rock faces, often with falling rocks, requiring scrambling, where an unroped fall would likely be fatal. The route has narrow ledges, loose rock, and steep cliffs.
For most of the year, climbing Longs Peak is in winter conditions, which requires winter mountaineering experience and the knowledge and use of specialized equipment. Disregard for the mountain environment any time of year has meant danger, injury and even death. The Keyhole Route can experience winter-like conditions at any time, requiring greater skill and judgment. Be prepared to turn back during sudden, drastic weather changes. The high elevation may affect your condition and judgment. Careful descent is the best treatment. Don't have summit fever: Enjoy the experience, but be willing to turn around at any time. For those who are prepared, the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak, one of the most popular routes in Colorado, is an extraordinary climbing experience." - National Park Service
Longs Peak Winter Conditions Advisory
Winter conditions have taken over in the high country of Rocky Mountain National Park. Any venture beyond the trail head will require route-finding skills, proper winter equipment, and knowledge of winter travel. Travelers should expect to encounter cold temperatures, snow and ice, avalanche hazards, and high winds. Winter routes are not marked and often vary from the established summer trails. Periods of excellent weather do occur, however they are short lived and backed by long periods of intense winter conditions. Also, be prepared to turn around when conditions exceed your abilities. Remember, safety is your responsibility.
Regular reports on the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak will be posted from June through September.